This weekend, I craved vegetables. Not just at lunch and dinner like any normal person, no, I craved them at breakfast. After an incredibly unhealthy weekend last weekend, and consequently a less-than-perfect week, I just felt like I'd lived on quick-to-eat carbs (semolina and oats, mainly!) and needed something better. So, vegetables for breakfast was my solution to my craving. I felt like something with shredded zucchini - I thought about raw zucchini noodles, but the weather was much too cold. Grated zucchini and pumpkin provided the perfect solution.
You'd never think that so much flavour would come from a vegetable stuffed into plastic like a corpse at a crime scene. Seriously, that's not a flattering photo. But that's how my pumpkin came - I finally got into the habit of buying a chunk of a massive one, instead of selecting an entire pumpkin in a slightly smaller size. This way saves me the disappointment of terrible pumpkins... although, this one was pretty watery, and didn't roast very well. Never mind. I'm pretty sure it was a Muskatkurbis, but it had a large grain and the outside was a little bumpy, rather than smooth, so it was probably some sort of hybrid. It had that same lovely colour, though, and it was still delicious.
All grated up and ready to go, although the proportion isn't accurately displayed here - it was half and half, really. I entertained thoughts of making this beautiful grated mix into a salad, perhaps with some grated red beet to make it pretty (I not-so-secretly enjoy turning foods pink with beets) but again, the cold weather got the better of me. When it's -10 degrees C outside, I'm not one to enjoy my vegetables straight from the fridge. I don't handle cold weather overly well, so the promise of a long and snowy winter does have me a little worried. Never mind, though, breakfast will always come to my rescue!
Spring onions were sauteed in olive oil, and then the grated vegetables tumbled in after. My only concern was that they released a lot of moisture as they cooked. This could potentially be avoided if a huge pan and a minimal amount of vegetable was used, but that goes against the idea of a hearty (but healthy!) breakfast. My other idea was to wring the vegetables out before serving them, or to drain them in a sieve, but I decided against it. The final result was delicious, saucy, not-quite-soupy and completely addictive. I need to buy more zucchinis now, so that I can make a massive batch and eat this for breakfast every morning. Pasta, eat your heart out.
Veg for Breakfast.
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 large zucchini, grated
2 cups pumpkin, grated (or an amount equal to the zucchini)
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
salt and pepper
Heat about 2 Tbsp olive oil in a frying pan, and sautee the spring onions until they're soft. Add the zucchini and pumpkin, 1/4 tsp of rosemary, and half of the parsley. Mix well, and allow to cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir regularly.
Meanwhile, in a smaller pan, heat about 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Add the chopped tomatoes and any juice released in the process of cutting them. Add the rosemary and stir well.
Cook the tomatoes until they've broken down just enough to form a sauce - they should still be chunky and rustic. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and a dash of cayenne or chilli if you need some extra warmth. Add the remaining parsley at the last moment before serving.
Season the grated vegetables with salt and pepper. Serve in a large bowl topped with tomato sauce, and feel virtuous about eating such a great breakfast, even when you go back for seconds.